Winter Mosquitoes Bug Gilbert Residents

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 5:05am
(Photo courtesy of Town of Gilbert)
The south view of the Sonoqui Wash south of the Ocotillo Road culvert.
(Photo courtesy of Town of Gilbert)
The west view of the Sonoqui Wash. Residents nearby have asked Gilbert to do something about what they say are excessive mosquitoes.

Gilbert residents living near the Sonoqui Wash have been plagued by mosquitoes this winter.

“Typically, the mosquito season is generally referred to as April through October,” said Gilbert Wastewater manager Mark Horn.

As Gilbert has expanded, it’s pushed neighborhoods up against longstanding washes where water flows after storms. Recent Town Council meetings brought out members of the neighborhood who complain about the mosquitoes' persistence.

Resident Pat Hickman submitted a petition signed by 192 people in the Trilogy neighborhoods asking the town to increase mosquito-abatement efforts, according to town meeting minutes.

Generally, mosquito abatement is the responsibility of Maricopa County but to address the Sonoqui Wash, Gilbert is rolling out a $25,000 pilot program.

The program will target standing water with larvicide and monitor the results.

Horn said this particular wash floods from rain and nearby farmers with permission from the flood-control district. 

“Every time some tail water from flood irrigation from a farm field gets in there, it’s going to flow,” Horn said. “Then you may have low spots in the wash that can then hold pockets of water, and then after three days it can produce mosquitoes.”

Horn said the town is also pursuing an engineering study to see if the wash could be adjusted to inhibit standing water.

“Every time water flows through the wash, which it will, it will change,” Horn said. That’s the nature of a dirt wash.

If you like this story, Donate Now!